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Timeless panorama: the Ponale road
Riva del Garda, Ledro, Garda Trentino
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Category
Difficulty
Intermediate
Activity time
4:00
Duration in hours
Distance
11.4
Distance in km
Status
closed
Suggested period
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec
For more than a century the Ponale road has enchanted travellers. This route is ideal for all those who want to enjoy a nice walk and a breath-taking view over Lake Garda and the surrounding mountains. 

The road overlooks the northernmost part of Lake Garda and the lower Sarca. Mount Brione, between Riva and Torbole, and Mount Baldo can be seen in the distance. The vegetation is sparse and Mediterranean. It consists of cypresses and holm oaks that manage to grow through the rocks.

The Ponale road was paramount to hold Riva and the North Garda Lake, then at the border between the Austro-Hungarian Empire (to which Trentino belonged) and the Kingdom of Italy. Because of its strategical value to Austria-Hungary, it was at the centre of an extensive network of fortifications since 1860. 

Fort Teodosio dates back to this period. It owes its name to the finding of some coins from the reign of Emperor Theodosius. The fort was built to close off the road to those coming from Ledro. The port of Riva was defended by the Bellavista battery (or della Madonnina), just a few metres above the lake. The fortifications stopped Garibaldi from invading Trentino through Riva and forced him to go through the Giudicarie and Ledro.

 The construction of the Tagliata (barrier) del Ponale began in 1904. It was part of a defensive plan put in action by the Austro-Hungarian Army in the whole of Trentino. The Tagliata is a network of tunnels and passageways excavated in the rock. It starts at the height of the seventh tunnel coming up from Riva (150 m / 500 ft) and reaches down to the lake. From the road, embrasures and doors can still be seen. The Tagliata guaranteed Austria-Hungary the control of Riva throughout the First World War. Excavations did not stop until 1918.

Further information and useful links

Further information on www.vallediledro.com

Route info
Intermediate
Distance
11,4 km
Activity time
4 h 00 min
Ascent
382 m
Descent
382 m
Technical skills
Physical effort
Scenary
Highest point
431 m
Lowest point
66 m
Suggestions

Austrion-Hungarian Fortifications

The Ponale road was paramount to hold Riva and the North Garda Lake, then at the border between the Austro-Hungarian Empire (to which Trentino belonged) and the Kingdom of Italy. Because of its strategical value to Austria-Hungary, it was at the centre of an extensive network of fortifications since 1860. 

Fort Teodosio dates back to this period. It owes its name to the finding of some coins from the reign of Emperor Theodosius. The fort was built to close off the road to those coming from Ledro. The port of Riva was defended by the Bellavista battery (or della Madonnina), just a few metres above the lake. The fortifications stopped Garibaldi from invading Trentino through Riva and forced him to go through the Giudicarie and Ledro.

The construction of the Tagliata (barrier) del Ponale began in 1904. It was part of a defensive plan put in action by the Austro-Hungarian Army in the whole of Trentino. The Tagliata is a network of tunnels and passageways excavated in the rock. It starts at the height of the seventh tunnel coming up from Riva (150 m / 500 ft) and reaches down to the lake. From the road, embrasures and doors can still be seen. The Tagliata guaranteed Austria-Hungary the control of Riva throughout the First World War. Excavations did not stop until 1918.

Safety guidelines

The Sentiero del Ponale is an Alpine trail and must be tread carefully. Bikers must limit their speed and be aware of pedestrians.

Please note that the practicability of the itineraries in a mountain environment is strictly linked to the contingent conditions and is therefore influenced by natural phenomena, environmental changes and weather conditions. For this reason, the information contained in this page may have changed. Before leaving for a tour, make sure the path you will approach is still accessible by contacting the owner of the mountain hut, the alpine guides or the visitor centres of the nature parks, the info offices of the local tourist board.

Directions

Start from the car park at the junction between the SS240 and the road to Pregasina. We cross the bridge and we walk along the asphalt road. Shortly before the tunnel we take the mule track on the left side, which joins the old Strada del Ponale near the so called “zete”. We follow the Sentiero del Ponale to Riva del Garda, near the hydroelectric power plant. We follow the same route back and we walk past the “zete”. Instead of turning into the mule track, we walk further along the asphalt road. Near the barrier marking the end of the Ponale, in order to avoid the SS240, we take the path to the left, which joins the road to Pregasina.

 

public transportation

Trentino Trasporti

There: 214 bus Riva del Garda - Pregasina bivio
And back: Pregasina bivio - Riva del Garda

Timetable on Trentino Trasporti Esercizio

How to get there
Exit the A22 motorway at Rovereto Sud - Lago di Garda. Follow the SS240 della Val di Ledro to the crossroads towards Pregasina.
Where to park
Car park at the crossroads.
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